1. a. Until December thirty-first, two thousand twenty-one, whenever in its opinion the population of deer in any area of the state except in the northern zone is such that additional harvest of deer is reasonably necessary to properly manage the deer herd in the state in balance with the available deer range and natural food supply, the department may provide by regulation for issuance of deer management permits, permitting the taking of one deer for the permit, in addition to the limit of one deer that may otherwise be taken by one person in a license year.
b. In the issuance of permits, the department may give preference to resident license holders and may give preference to service-connected disabled veterans having 40 percent or greater service-connected disability as evidenced by a compensation rating from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or the United States Department of Defense who shall only have to provide proof of service-connected disability at the time of initial issuance of the permit, and to the applications of groups which include a person or the spouse of a person, provided that such spouse lives in the same household, who owns at least 50 acres of land in one parcel in the specified area.
c. “Owner” as used in this section shall include the owner or spouse of the owner of record of such parcel, provided that such spouse lives in the same household as the owner, or a purchaser or spouse of such purchaser of such parcel, provided that such spouse lives in the same household as such purchaser, under an executory contract duly recorded in the office of the recording officer in the county in which real property to which it relates is situate, who actually occupy and cultivate such parcel.
2. Each such regulation shall specify, with respect to the permits to which it relates:
a. The open season or part thereof and the day or days of such season in which such permits may be used;
b. The specific area in which they are valid;
c. The manner of taking for which such permits are valid, which shall conform with the specifications as to the manner of taking deer in the open season for which the permits may be used;
d. The method of application for and issuance of such permits, including eligibility and allocation among applicants;
e. The number of persons, no fewer than one nor more than six, who must join in the application; and
f. Such other regulations as the department may determine.
3. Each member of a group issued a permit pursuant to this section shall possess a license which authorizes the holder to hunt deer before the permit may be validated.
4. During a license year, no person shall use more than one license which authorizes the holder to hunt deer during the regular open season in making application for a deer management permit.
5. The provisions of paragraph a of subdivision 1 of section 11-0911 shall not apply when a deer is taken pursuant to a deer management permit, but the department may by regulation provide an alternative method of identifying and reporting the deer so taken.
6. With each deer management permit there shall be issued a tag or seal and a reporting form as the department shall determine to be appropriate, and the additional deer may be taken only by the group member who, at the time, is in physical possession of the permit and any tag, seal and reporting form issued with it.
7. The department shall charge and receive a fee of ten dollars for the application and the processing of such permit or permits. Applicants who are successful in the computerized selection shall receive the permit or permits free of any additional charge. The application fee shall be non-refundable. The department may waive the application fee for holders of a lifetime sportsman license existing as of October first, two thousand nine and holders of a hunting license less than sixteen years of age.
8. Except with respect to deer management unit thirty-four the provision of this section shall not apply to the “Northern Zone” of the state as defined in subdivision sixteen of section 11-0103 of this chapter.
9. Nothing set forth in this section shall prevent the department from permitting the issuance of deer management permits in those portions of Franklin, St. Lawrence, Jefferson and Lewis counties and Northern Zone portions of Oneida and Oswego counties which are situated in the area generally described as the Lake Ontario Plain, St. Lawrence Valley and peripheral Adirondacks/peripheral Tug Hill region. The department is authorized and directed to promulgate any rules or regulations necessary to more particularly describe the region of land set forth in this subdivision.
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